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Pragmatics, Newspapers and Context: A Study of How British Tabloid Newspapers Construct Context
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

While the original focus of pragmatics was spoken conversation, this approach has been increasingly used in the analysis of written and monological texts, e.g. advertisements (Tanaka, 1994), as a means of explaining how the meanings within them are generated and recovered through context. The range of texts subjected to pragmatics has thus far been somewhat limited and there is scope for applying pragmatics in other genres. The research for this essay was designed to explain the generation of implicatures in newspapers by relating a sample of articles to theoretical approaches offered within pragmatics, such as Relevance Theory and deixis. A number of semantic and stylistic devices are used in such articles, such as anaphora, metaphor and metonymy. These depend upon an expectation of reader familiarity with them and they are thus able to contribute to brevity and comprehension. While newspapers have been examined by scholars to some extent, the focus of these studies has been on headlines and not on entire articles. In this current study, three articles from different British tabloid papers were examined. The examination showed that the articles had many features in common and what was the most salient was that they require the reader to rely heavily on encyclopaedic knowledge. It turned out that writers keep their articles brief by withholding details or clarifying information from the reader, as they assume the reader are familiar with the phenomena mentioned. Anaphora is frequently used in tabloid newspaper articles as it also enables the writers to keep their articles brief, but also because it makes the articles more varied and less repetitive. Additionally, reader familiarity with metonymy, metaphor and deixis is necessary if the reader is to make sense of what an article means.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
Newspaper articles, tabloids, pragmatics, Relevance Theory, encyclopaedic knowledge
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-33201OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-33201DiVA: diva2:1071143
Subject / course
The Humanities
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-02-27 Created: 2017-02-03 Last updated: 2017-02-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf